Hundreds of Pakistanis stranded at Doha airport amid Saudi-Qatar row

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KARACHI: Hundreds of Pakistanis were left stranded at Doha airport after Saudi Arabia banned all flights from Qatar Airways into its airspace following the diplomatic disruption in the Middle East.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE and Egypt, among other countries, cut off all ties with Qatar on allegations that Doha supports terrorism and extremism. The move followed severing of all land, air and sea links with Qatar and vice versa.

As a result, Pakistani pilgrims proceeding to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah were left in a limbo as Qatar Airways was barred from entering Saudi Arabia. According to reports, the airline failed to provide accommodation to the Pakistani passengers, forcing them to settle in at the airport’s departure lounge.

The passengers — said to be around 500 — were stuck at the airport for around two days. Several of them told Geo News that the Pakistani embassy in Doha is yet to contact them to provide any sort of relief.

The relevant Pakistan International Airlines officials were instructed to arrange a special flight to take the stranded Pakistanis out of Doha.

However, at around 2pm in Pakistan, officials said the government has arranged a special flight of Oman Air to take the passengers out of Doha. 2pm in Pakistan, officials said the government has arranged a special flight of Oman Air to take the passengers out of Doha.

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